Anam Cara: Celtic Soul Friends

The ancient Irish idea of anam cara, or soul friendship, has much to offer the needs of our present time. In a world so full of mistrust and disharmony friendship is more important than ever. To the early Celtic Christians, friendship was a sacred encounter. It was considered a path to contemplation, a discipline to uphold, and a treasure of the highest value. Friendship and family ties were the foundation of Celtic society and as Brigit famously said, “a person without an anam cara is like a body without a head.”

I will be leading an online retreat with Brother Cassian (David Cole) on the topic of spiritual friendship November 8-10. We will look at the historic idea of anam cara in early Celtic Christianity as well it’s development through the middle ages and into modern times.

The retreat will happen over Zoom with two sessions each of the three days, for a total of six sessions. Each session will be between 60-90 minutes. Our times will include some silence, some teaching, and some discussion. If there are a large number of participants then we will have breakout groups, if there are less people we will keep the discussion in the main group. There will also be follow up contemplations emailed out following each session.  

The timings will be 10am start & 2pm start EST (where I am), which is 3pm start & 7pm start GMT (where David is).  There is a suggested donation of £50(GB)/$65(US) but we do not turn people away because of money so pay what you can (even if that’s nothing) and we’ll be happy to have you join us. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.

To register email David – 

The lay out of our time together will look like this: 

Day 1:  

1 – Historic understanding 1 – Brother Cassian   

2 – Historic Understanding 2 – Justin Coutts 

Day 2:  

1 – Aelred of Rievaulx – A Specific Understanding – Justin Coutts  

2 – Edward Sellner – A Specific Understanding – Brother Cassian 

Day 3:  

1 – The Anam Cara in the Community of Aidan & Hilda – Brother Cassian 

2 – A Modern Approach for life today – Justin Coutts 

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